Van Goes Under The Bus -- Updated
According to Chuck Todd of MSNBC just now on Twitter, "Van Jones has resigned. Release just went out after midnight eastern."
Breaking News on Twitter adds, "CNN: White House green jobs czar Van Jones resigns, blames lies and 'vicious smear campaign' against him."
AP adds, "Obama aide Van Jones resigns as environmental adviser amid controversy over past statements."
As Andy Levy Of Fox News' Red Eye show notes on Twitter, "Won't it be weird when people who don't get their news from the internet or FNC have no idea who the guy who resigned is?"
Certainly won't be the first time. So in case you're coming in completely cold to the story, for a look back at the "vicious smear campaign" built largely around googling Jones' past statements and interviews, click here, and follow the links:
- Van Jones’ Evolving Worldview
- Are There Really No Black School Shooters?
- Van Under The Bus?
- A 9/11 Truther In King Obama’s Court
Jennifer Rubin wrote shortly before Jones' resignation was made public that "It’s hard to believe this isn’t a fictional character dreamed up by Obama’s conservative critics. No, unfortunately, Jones is very real":
This offers further support for the argument that Obama’s flock of czars should be trimmed or eliminated. (It’s not like the administration’s Cabinet-vetting process was that great either, frankly.) But that’s a tangential point at this stage. The immediate issue is that the White House, under siege for its leftward lurch and battling the tag that the president is out of touch with ordinary Americans, is harboring such a figure. It’s hard to believe this isn’t a fictional character dreamed up by Obama’s conservative critics. No, unfortunately, Jones is very real.
And this, of course, won’t last. Eventually Jones will go, and then the talk will turn to how incompetent the White House has become, letting a bad story fester and doubts to increase as to the president’s judgment and values. (Remember when we were told that his superior judgment was the reason to elect him?) That is par for the course at the White House these days—unable to do the right thing and lacking the common sense to fake it.
Speaking of Fox News, something tells me that Glenn Beck is going to have reasonably good ratings on Monday.
Update: The Washington Post has a full statement from Jones:
Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, resigned Saturday, following weeks of pressure from the right and a flurry of revelations about his past statements.
"I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today," Jones said in a resignation letter released by the CEQ late Saturday.
"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide," he said.
"I have been inundated with calls -- from across the political spectrum -- urging me to 'stay and fight,'" he continued. "But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.
"It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead."
If, as Levy wrote above, "Won't it be weird when people who don't get their news from the internet or FNC have no idea who the guy who resigned is?" -- they're not going to learn much more from this initial NBC report:
President Obama's environmental adviser Van Jones resigned from his post late Saturday evening after he came under fire for a series of inflammatory statements he made about Republicans, the White House said early Sunday morning.
Jones, Obama's green jobs "czar," was caught on tape in an expletive-packed rant, directly attacking Republicans in the Senate who he said abused their majority position in the past to push legislation through. He told Politico after the statements were released that the comments were "inappropriate" and "offensive."
"They do not reflect the experience I have had since joining the administration," Jones said in the statement.
The White House kept mum about Jones Friday, telling reporters only Jones would remain as part of Obama's administration.
No mention of trutherism, self-admitted communism, support for Mumia Abu Jamal, etc. It's all about those nasty ol' "inflammatory statements he made about Republicans."
Uh-huh. If that's all it takes, watch for two-thirds of Congress to resign this weekend as well.
Update: This headline at Breitbart.tv sums the story's dynamics up perfectly: "BREAKING: Obama Advisor Van Jones Resigns Amid Scandal Ignored by MSM."
Elsewhere, plenty of links on the story at Stacy McCain's blog.
Mickey Kaus asks, "Where's the New York Times?":
Noah Silverman notes:Readers of the print edition will never have heard of the presidential appointee so controversial the President had to dump him. Is this a milestone in the decline of the NYT?
I've been waiting for the day when a prominent pol resigns and for print MSM readers it appears to be out-of-the-blue, though everyone on the Web knows the whole story. But for WaPo's Franke-Ruta and Kornblut, this would be that case. ... In any case, more evidence that you can't find out whats going on by reading the Times.
Geez, did they rehire Dan Rather to come up with that formulation?
Update: In the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord, a Reagan-era White House aide responds to McCormack's query: before Van took the Ultimate Trip, he was in the White House "because someone -- or several someones -- knew his problems and quite deliberately overruled the Secret Service. That would be someone of very considerable power."' (HT: KT)
Update: Tim Blair adds:
Andrew Malcolm in the LA Times: “Additional criticism mounted when many major media outlets, especially TV, ignored the growing controversy.” Yep. It’s a controversy that was controversial enough to have someone booted from the White House, but not controversial enough for coverage.
Meanwhile, Breitbart.tv links to a video clip featuring Nancy Pelosi and Gavin Newsom, reminding you that Van Jones is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being they've ever known in their lives:
Update (9/6/09, 2:04 PM PDT): There’s Got To Be A Morning After...